If you have noticed a skin mole or growth that is of concern on your body, it is important for you to book an appointment with a trained dermatologist for an evaluation and to speak to them about safe and effective removal. Treatment for skin moles and growths will vary greatly depending on whether they are cancerous. At Dermatology Associates of Northern Virginia, now a part of U.S. Dermatology Partners, we are dedicated to assisting patients in the Centreville area with their skin care concerns.
What is a skin mole or growth?
There are several growths that can develop on the skin, including moles. Moles are a concentration of pigmentation and may be on the skin at birth. They can also develop throughout life. In most instances, they are completely harmless. However, they can also be an indicator of the development of skin cancer. Skin moles are different from other growths such as cysts and skin tags. They are sometimes just a cosmetic concern, or they may be a problem when they rub against other areas of the skin and become uncomfortable. In both situations, patients may opt to have their growths removed, and can speak to a dermatologist about the various methods of removal.
Evaluation of a mole or growth for cancer
Before the removal of any growths or moles, our team will first assess the area for signs of cancer. Moles changing in shape, color, or size may be an indication that skin cancer is present. If there are changes to the mole or growth, it is important for our team to have a biopsy done. This is the removal of a small portion of the growth, which is then sent out to a laboratory for an assessment. This laboratory checks for skin cancer in the sample, and then sends back a test result to our team. If a patient’s biopsy comes back as negative for skin cancer, then the dermatologist can remove the growth in any manner that is most appropriate for the patient’s specific needs. However, if the biopsy comes back to the dermatologist as positive for skin cancer, treatment options need to be discussed. There are several different types of skin cancer that can develop, so getting a result on the exact type will also assist in helping the dermatologist make the best call as to how they can safely remove the area of cancer. In some cases, Mohs micrographic surgery can help in removing all areas of cancer, while some patients may also want to speak to an oncologist about options such as chemotherapy creams or targeted radiation. The choices will vary greatly depending on the type of cancer present, so it is essential that patients work directly with Drs. Neeraja Mattay or Nickolai Talanin to decide what is most appropriate for their specific situation. We walk patients through the journey, so they feel comfortable throughout.
Removal of moles and growths
There are several mole methods of removal available at the Dermatology Associates of Northern Virginia that are achieved with the assistance of our dermatologists. They include:
- Simple surgical excision
- Cryosurgery (freezing)
- Laser removal
Which treatment for removal is right for me?
There is no one size fits all solution for our patients, so it is best that patients discuss their options with a dermatologist to decide which one is best. Choosing a removal technique will depend greatly on the location of the growth, the size of the growth, and how deep the growth goes into the skin. In most cases, our team will avoid procedures that require sutures and extensive healing whenever possible.
If you are interested in learning more about the services and treatments we offer, contact Dermatology Associates of Northern Virginia Centreville. We assist patients of all ages in our state-of-the-art facility. We provide medical and cosmetic dermatology solutions to men and women at both our Centreville and Sterling locations. Our Centreville location can be reached at (703) 222-2773 and is conveniently located in Suite #301 at 13880 Braddock Road. We accept new patients who are ready for quality, comprehensive dermatological care.